Tag: Yahoo

Yahoo! Blog Search

Yahoo! has started integrating blog results into Yahoo! News and thus paving the way for the new Yahoo! Blog Search. As reported by both Robert Scoble and Om Malik, I am not overly impressed with this product from Yahoo! They certainly did a much better job with Yahoo! Podcasts. Nevertheless, Yahoo will integrate content from Flickr and MyWeb thus tapping into the views and opinions of the growing Yahoo! userbase.

Yahoo! Podcasts

Yahoo! has just launched the Yahoo! Podcast page allowing you to search and listen to podcasts. One thing that I’ve noticed with Yahoo! is how they go the extra mile to educate customers on new technologies. Infact, this spirit of education was made most obvious when Yahoo! invested in Wikipedia by providing free hardware and other services to the foundation. Last year when the amount of phishing scams was beginning to peak I remember how Yahoo! Security Center had really explained the basics of online security to its audience when all the other major portals had taken a more laissez faire approach.

It’ll be interesting to see how podcasts evolve now that both Apple and Yahoo are promoting podcasts all over their music players. Will entire industry segments be forced to start offering new content just to be placed on these music directories and attract new audiences? How soon before the West Philadelphia Vineyard Community Church puts up podcasts of their sermons and worship online?

Hold up Yahoo!

It seems like Yahoo! is churning out innovations much faster than many of the other online portals (e.g. MSN, AOL, Google) can keep up with. For example, the list below displays a wide array of beta services or products that Yahoo has come out with this year:

Yahoo! Audio Search Bar
Yahoo! Job Search Engine
My Web 2.0 Beta
Yahoo! Search Subscriptions Beta
Yahoo! Mindset Beta
Yahoo! Music Engine Beta
Yahoo! Messenger Beta
Yahoo! Shopping – Gift Finder Beta
Yahoo! Movies Recommendations Beta
Yahoo! Search Developer Network
Y!Q Beta
My Yahoo! Ticker Beta
Yahoo! Desktop Search Beta
My Web 1.0 Beta
Yahoo! Travel FareChase Beta
Yahoo! Travel FareChase Beta

Source: Yahoo! Next

In Jeremy Zawodny’s blog about Secrets of Product Development and What Journalists Write he says, �So I’m going to let you in on a little secret about how products are developed at large companies – even large Internet companies that some people think are fast on their feet.
Larger companies rarely can respond that quickly to each other. It almost never happens. Sure, they may talk a good game, but it’s just talk. Building things on the scale that Microsoft, Google, AOL, or Yahoo do is a complex process. It takes time.

Journalists like to paint this as a rapidly moving chess game in which we’re all waiting for the next move so that we can quickly respond. But the truth is that most product development goes on in parallel. Usually there are people at several companies who all have the same idea, or at least very similar ones. The real race is to see who can build it faster and better than the others.�

While comforting to know that the other portals might be offering similar product releases I take greater comfort in knowing that as a consumer I will have the ultimate benefit of selecting the better service. So while Yahoo! is churning out those releases, you can definitely bet that they’re only setting a benchmark that the others will strive to surpass.

Yahooulator! and Yidgets

Om Malik alluded to Yahoo’s increasing thirst for acquisitions earlier this weekend (e.g Dialpad) However, their purchase of Konfabulator definitely turns things up a notch for Yahoo. Konfabulator is a JavaScript runtime engine for Windows and Mac OS X that lets you run little files called Widgets that can do pretty much whatever you want them to. Widgets can be alarm clocks, calculators, can tell you your WiFi signal strength, will fetch the latest stock quotes for your preferred symbols, and even give your current local weather. (Source: Konfabulator). I remember trying out Konfabulator on my G3 earlier last year and raving about a large number of widgets. The only reason I uninstalled the application was because of the $19.95 registration cost. I hope Yahoo takes a leaf from Google’s style of acquisitions and starts to offer a free Konfabulator version. This should apply enough pressure on Microsoft to ensure that the enhanced dashboard planned for Microsoft Vista is as slick as or better than Konfabulator.